Hawthorn Leafy Tips the Sweet Taste of Spring

I remember my grandfather taking me for long countryside walks as a child, roaming over pastures and hillside. Whilst I was simply admiring the view, I think back and I am sure my grandfather must have had other ideas, he was probably checking on the livestock and perhaps even foraging.

On such a trip I recall my grandfather would eat the fresh vivd green tips from the hawthorn trees annual cut into hedges that marked the bounder of his smallholding.

Hawthorn leaves have a sweet flavour with a slightly bitter aftertaste and in my grandfathers day would have been commonly referred to used as ‘bread and cheese,’ as the leaves sandwiched between slices of bread were once a staple food in the spring.

The leaves can also be added to salads, stepped into hot water to make a tea or enjoyed (like me) straight off the branch, while the roasted seeds make a good coffee substitute.

The Hawthorn berries, however bountiful in most autumn’s, make a tasty jam or fruit bread – try adding the dried and ground fruit to flour for a fruity loaf.

Hawthorn also has medicinal benefits and can help treat heart and circulation disorders.
Powerful bio-flavinoids present in the fruit stimulate the flow of blood to your heart keeping the heartbeat regular.

Hawthorn berries are most autumns but always leave plenty behind for the birds and never damage the tree branches. Hawthorn Leafy Tips will always remind me of my grandfather and the Sweet Taste of Spring


I like to add a few hawthorn berries to my Rose hip syrup, a nutrient rich tonic is that will help fight of sneezes and flu and help growing children develop a strong resistance to summer colds.

Learn how to fight coughs and colds with my Rose hip syrup recipe >>

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Stephen Pryce-Lea

Head Gardener and International Horticultural Consultant




“It’s a beautiful thing when a career and a passion grow together, when you find it in a Garden it’s like finding Paradise“

iGrowHort – A Head Gardener’s Horticultural Journey of love, life and learning.



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About Head Gardener 290 Articles
Award winning, 40 something year old professional plantsman and horticulturalist with National Trust, private parks and estate management background. My vast plant knowledge and hands on techinical experience, afforded me the opportunity to work in various horticultural landscapes, in the UK, USA & Eastern Europe. Having worked in both garden retail & the design service industry gave me the practical diversity and managerial skill set, required for running a large prestigious gardens and stately homes. I strongly believe knowledge is to be shared and have worked closely with people and staff of all ages and abilities keen to develop their passion for gardening, including groups of children, special needs and adults. I have hosted guided walks, talks and tours for those keen to learn about cultivated and wild plants, garden development, history and design. As an member of the NNCPG and National Trust, I am actively involved in the preservation of several important plant collections both in public and private gardens throughout the UK. “It’s a beautiful thing when a career and a passion grow together, in a garden it’s paradise” Follow @IGrowHort on GardenTags. Stephen is passionate about gardening as Head Gardener with a team of ten staff he manages a prestigious Cheshire country estate of 55 acres, inc wild flower meadows, woodland, organic kitchen and formal gardens. Follow Stephen today”

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